RATIONALE: Premature birth is an independent predictor of long-term cardiovascular risk. Individuals affected are reported to have a lower rate of oxygen consumption at peak exercise intensity and at ventilatory anaerobic threshold, but little is known about their response to exercise training. OBJECTIVES: To explore if peak exercise oxygen consumption and ventilatory anaerobic threshold responses to exercise training differ between preterm-born and term-born individuals. METHODS: Fifty-two preterm-born and 151 term-born participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to 16-weeks of aerobic exercise training (n=102) or a control group (n=101). Cardiopulmonary exercise tests were conducted before and after the intervention to measure oxygen consumption at peak exercise intensity and the ventilatory anaerobic threshold. A prespecified subgroup analysis was conducted by fitting an interaction term for preterm and term birth history and exercise group allocation. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Within term-born participants, peak exercise oxygen consumption increased by 3.1 (95% confidence interval: 1.7 to 4.4)ml/kg/min and ventilatory anaerobic threshold increased by 2.3 (95% confidence interval: 0.7 to 3.8)ml/kg/min in the intervention group versus controls. Within preterm-born participants, peak exercise oxygen consumption increased by 1.8 (95% confidence interval: -0.4 to 3.9)ml/kg/min and ventilatory anaerobic threshold increased by 4.6 (95% confidence interval: 2.1 to 7.0)ml/kg/min in the intervention group versus controls. No significant interaction was observed for peak exercise oxygen consumption (p=0.32) or ventilatory anaerobic threshold (p=0.12). CONCLUSION: The training intervention led to significant improvements in peak exercise oxygen consumption and ventilatory anaerobic threshold, with no evidence of a statistically different response based on birth history. Clinical trial registration available at www. CLINICALTRIALS: gov, ID: NCT02723552.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med
exercise capacity, exercise intervention, peak VO2, preterm birth, ventilatory threshold